Greenpeace blocks airport as Bush arrives
Brussels, June 13, 2001, 10.50am : Greenpeace activists, protesting against US Government plans to deploy a star wars missile system and the rejection of the Kyoto Protocol on climate change blocked the gates of the Brussels military airport where Bush arrived this morning.
A group of 17 activists chained themselves to the airport gates, made a human chain in front of the gates, carrying banners “George Bush – outlaws not welcome” and “GW Bush wanted for crimes against the planet” referring to rejection of key international treaties on climate change and arms control. The activists came from Belgium, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Turkey, Israel, and Australia.
A number of environment and peace groups including Greenpeace, For Mother Earth and War Resisters International, also demonstrated outside the NATO headquarters in Brussels this morning, where Bush was meeting with NATO Heads of State.
"President Bush's promised consultations with his European allies over Star Wars deployment and climate change policies are a total sham," said Greenpeace International disarmament campaigner William Peden. "Earlier this year he dumped Kyoto, then last week the Bush administration said they will deploy some form of missile defence by 2004, so his message to the world is clearly 'like it or lump it'.
"Effective action to address nuclear proliferation and climate change cannot be made unilaterally. European countries must stand up to Bush and defend international agreements on disarmament and climate change, by rejecting Star Wars and ratifying the Kyoto Protocol," said Peden. "If NATO member states support Star Wars they will be responsible for the start of a new nuclear arms race."
Bush cannot proceed on Star Wars without European support and participation. The US needs to use key radar facilities at Fylingdales in the United Kingdom and at Thule in Greenland, whose defence and foreign policy is controlled by Denmark.
Andy Tait one of the protestors involved in the airport blockade said, "The public in Europe do not want to return to the dangerous days of the Cold War which is where President Bush is taking us. Governments have been silent on the issue which is why we are here today."
Today's protest follows Greenpeace actions in Spain yesterday for President Bush's arrival in Europe, in France and Norway against US oil tankers, and in Finland over the weekend when US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld discussed Star Wars with Baltic Defence Ministers.
FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: WILLIAM PEDEN +-44-7801212992, JON WALTER +31-653504731, LOUISE EDGE +44-7801212993 Photos available – Picture Desk +31 653819121 Video available – Video Producer +31 627000057 www.greenpeace.org end
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